The San Antonio Commanders (1-2) fell 31-11 to the San Diego Fleet (2-1) in front of 14,789 fans on Sunday evening at SDCCU Stadium.
San Diego totaled 381 yards of offense, including 202 on the ground. Ja’Quan Gardner rushed for an 122 yards on 12 carries, including an Alliance-record 83 yard TD run. Terrell Watson added 73 rush yards on 13 carries. Quarterback Philip Nelson completed 17-of-25 attempts for 193 yards, two scores and a pick.
San Antonio finished 291 yards of total offense, with 147 rushing and 144 passing. Trey Williams rushed for a team-high 75 yards on seven totes. Logan Woodside went 12-of-23 through the air with a TD and two interceptions. Mekale McKay caught four passes for 91 yards, including a 47 TD reception.
San Antonio’s De’Vante Bausby opened the game with an interception of San Diego’s Philip Nelson. On the next play, San Antonio’s Woodside found McKay in stride for the 47-yard touchdown. The two-point try was completed to Evan Rodriguez to give the Commanders an 8-0 lead just 13 seconds into the game.
San Diego answered with TD of its own as Nelson found Nelson Spruce for a 2-yard score to cap an eight-play, 92-yard drive and bring the score to 8-6. On San Antonio’s next possession, linebacker A.J. Tarpley stepped in front of a Woodside pass in returned it 27 yards for a touchdown. The Fleet converted the two-point try to secure a 14-8 lead with 11 minutes to play before halftime.
After a five-play drive that ended in a Commanders’ punt, San Diego added to its lead with Spruce’s second TD reception of the game from Nelson. The 18-yard score was followed by a Watson conversion run for a 22-8 Fleet advantage that held throughout the remainder of the half.
Gardner extended the San Diego lead to 28-8 when he reached paydirt via an 83-yard run up the middle on 2nd-and-22 with 8:21 to go in the third quarter.
After a 45-yard punt from Joseph Zema, the Fleet’s LaQuvionte Gonzalez muffed the punt and the ball was recovered by Commanders’ linebacker Nick Temple at San Diego’s 11-yard line. Taking advantage of good field position, San Antonio’s Nick Rose made it a 28-11 San Diego lead with his 23-yard field goal at the 3:29 mark of the third quarter.
The Fleet’s Donny Hageman capped a 12-play, 58-yard drive with a 35-yard field goal to give San Diego a 31-11 lead with 11:49 to play.
San Antonio continues its four-game road swing on Sunday, March 3 at the Birmingham Iron. The game, which will start at 3 p.m. CT, will be televised on CBS Sports Network.